How To Build A Prospecting Script

The following is a guest post from Craig Wortmann of Sales Engine, a tools and services firm dedicated to providing sales professionals with the knowledge, skills and discipline they need to be successful.

As salespeople we focus a significant amount of our time on lead generation. From cold calling to networking, finding the right customer can be like a searching for a needle in a haystack. It’s a time-consuming part of the sales process, and if we’re not prepared, we waste time and energy. A prospecting script is something your team needs in its Sales Toolkit.

By preparing a prospecting script and anticipating reactions early, you will create enjoyable sales conversations, your pitches will be crisp and strong, and you’ll have overall phenomenal interactions. There are certain disciplines you can learn and teach your team to make sales conversations more positive and more meaningful.

Think back to a time where you were preparing for an important conversation. It could be with anyone: your boss, your customer or even someone you were asking on a date. Now, answer these three questions:

1. Did you plan ahead?
2. Did you think about how it would be received?
3. Did you plan a response for an objection they may have?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are likely a strong communicator. Good salespeople are disciplined to prepare for sales conversations. They do research before the call and are engaging on the phone. Phenomenal salespeople prepare a prospecting script and consider customer objections before they even get someone on the phone.

Tool: Prospecting Script

The prospecting script is designed to be a give-and-take between you and the prospect. In advance of the call, be sure that the prospect fits your target profile. For example:

  • Employees greater than 5,000
  • Self-insured
  • Primary point of contact title is Benefits Director or Senior HR Executive

Prospecting New Leads

You must find a way to approach the prospect that gives you the best chance for securing an initial meeting. Sometimes this results in a conversation with the Administrative Assistant. You should then ask for a connection to a key decision maker.

Establish Your Goals for the Call

Closeup of male hand holding telephone receiver while dialing a telephone number to make a call using a black landline phone. With retro filter effect.

Ask yourself what the result of this phone call should be. Is it setting up a meeting? Is it entering their consideration set? Be clear on your specific goal(s) when writing your script and especially before you pick up the phone.

Understand the Customer’s Pain Points

Review the assumed pain points that you think that prospect is experiencing. You must know these pain points before you make the call. Here’s an example from one of our healthcare clients who works to optimize employer benefits:

Pain Point #2
Medical spend is a high priority within the C-suite. We understand that companies your size have made large investments in health benefits and third-party resources. Unfortunately the medical spend for many of our clients continues to increase annually. One solution to this problem is greater utilization of your existing benefits.

If you would like to chat for 5 minutes about how to fix this and drive greater participation, please call me at [insert number here].

Thanks for the opportunity. Have a great day and all the best in health.

Consider Who May Answer

The best case scenario is you already have a relationship with this prospect. If this is a new relationship, learn about them from your CRM or from someone who knows them. (We use Base!) If no information is available, look them up on LinkedIn and memorize a few key facts about them. To save time, find out early if they are the decision maker or if you should reach out to someone else.

Know exactly how you will respond if an assistant/other person answers the phone and asks, “Where are you calling from and what do you to?”

Be Prepared for Voicemail

the Retro audio tape recorder player, vintage effectthe Retro audio tape recorder player, vintage effect

You should have a script prepared for leaving voicemails. Plan it out word for word. Be short and be memorable. Your goal should be to get them off the phone as soon as possible and give them back time in their day. They are busy people, just like you. They will remember you for this! You must include the customer’s pain points in your message. Here is an example:

Leave a Voicemail
Pain Point #1: Engagement across the ecosystem is poor Hi [First Name], this is [Your Name] calling from [Your Company]. We are an engagement company that optimizes employer benefit resources.

We understand companies your size have made large investments in health benefits and third-party resources with low to minimal participation.

If you would like to chat for 5 minutes about how to fix this and drive greater participation, please call me at [insert number here].

Thanks for the opportunity. Have a great day and all the best in health.

Begin Conversation with Purpose

If you are able to get your customer on the phone without having to leave a voicemail, open with a strong statement. Explain the purpose of the meeting, the benefit that the customer is going to get out of the meeting, and check to see if they are in agreement. High-performing sales people use verbal contracts to better understand their prospects and build rapport quickly.

As your conversation unfolds, ask qualification questions, starting with high-level. Anticipate what they may say and have a crafted response for every scenario. Be prepared to respond if they decline a meeting:

If Yes, Ask: Thanks very much. I will reach out to schedule a meeting. May I ask, what has intrigued you enough to grant us some of your time?
(This will tell you the strong areas of interest of this particular prospect and helps focus the initial meeting on what matters to them.)
If No, Say: I totally understand. If it’s okay with you, I would love to put you on our newsletter list, just to stay in touch. Is that okay? Thanks. I really appreciate it. Have a great day.

If they are ready to schedule a meeting, get it on the calendar, confirm their email address, and mark a task in your CRM to send a thank you note/email.

Expert Tip: Create a thank you email template so that you have it ready to go. It will save you considerable time.

The Power of Preparation

Prospecting scripts are not only ideal for phone conversations, but also for networking events. Avoid sounding rehearsed and like a robot; the more you adapt your script to real-life objections and responses, the stronger it will be. Never underestimate the importance of disciplined preparation!

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